Torah Buzz Blog

The TBE Blog is the space where Temple Beth El’s Leadership Team members reflect on relevant topics that are most meaningful to us. Here you will find musings on everything from prayer to politics, music to mysticism and history to current day life. From our iPads, smartphones, and laptops to yours, these are the things that inspire us, keep us up at night, and fuel our own Jewish journeys.


Elements of Judaism: Walking Jewishly Through Life by Cantor Mary Rebecca Thomas (From Charlotte Jewish News Editorial, March 2018)

Being a Jewish clergy person is a pretty fantastic job. On almost any given day, I will encounter lots of different people, e...


Bashert – Being Right Where You Belong by Cantor Mary Rebecca Thomas

Sometimes one finds themselves in exactly the right place at the right time. Jewish custom might designate circumstances like...


Queen for a Day! by Susan Jacobs, Director of Education

When I was a little girl, my parents went to a Purim ball at Temple Israel and came home with the most beautifully decorated ...

The Power of Our Congregation by Judy Seldin-Cohen

Feb 16

Lessons from TBE’s Action on Affordable Housing That Can Inspire Us Today In April 2010, the Temple Beth El Board passed a resolution on affordable housing and homelessness. So what, you might say – resolutions are just words. Actually, as a direct result of our stance at TBE, more than 100 homeless families are now […]

PERSPECTIVE: reflections on turning 65 by Cantor Andrew Bernard

Feb 14

Many a day as I’m stretching on the pool deck getting ready for my swim, I tell one of my lifeguard friends, “Don’t get old. Just hold where you are. It’s not worth it.” And then I continue trying to work out the soreness in the shoulders before I get into the water. The truth […]

The Fault in our Bubbles by Rabbi Dusty Klass (From Charlotte Jewish News Editorial, February 2018)

Feb 08

For me, Christmas has never been about Chinese and a movie – it has been about family and food, watching It’s a Wonderful Life, and singing along to Counting Crows in the kitchen while doing dishes with my cousins. And yes, we opened presents next to a tree. Now, we have never had a tree […]

Purim – Tradition, Innovation, Experimentation by Andy Harkavy, Director of Congregational Engagement

Feb 01

Judaism is all about tradition. We do what we do because our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and so on and so forth did it at one point in time. Traditions may also become stale or lose meaning. Why do we ALWAYS do what we do? Sometimes we know, but more often than not, we do what […]

Adult Education at Temple Beth El by Rabbi Asher Knight

Jan 30

At Temple Beth El, our Jewish learning helps to create sacred connections inspired by Jewish wisdom. Temple Beth El has been proud of our strong adult Jewish Education offerings. From our “Pathways to Jewish Learning and Living,” to Adult Hebrew, and Anshei Mitzvah, to South Park and Uptown Talmud, to scholar-in-residences, to S.P.I.C.E. and Senior […]

Cultivating A Prayer and Meditation Practice by Rabbi Asher Knight

Jan 25

Prayer means something different to each of us.  And in each stage and moment in our lives, we may need prayer differently. Recently, our high school youth group, LIBERTY, welcomed over two-hundred teenagers from around the southeast to Temple Beth El. As we prayed and sang our Shabbat evening service, the voices of the teenagers […]

It’s a Learning Process by Dr. Laura Bernstein, Executive Director

Jan 18

Plagues.  Plagues.  And more plagues. This week’s Torah portion, Bo (Exodus 10:1 – 13:16)  begins with Moses and the eighth plague of locusts. It continues through the plague of darkness and the death of the firstborn, and concludes with Pharaoh allowing the Israelites to leave Egypt. Have you ever thought about how G-d came up […]